CIBC World initiated coverage on enterprise storage stocks Brocade Communications (BRCD), Network Appliance (NTAP) and QLogic Corp.(QLGC) with buy.
Analyst Paul Mansky says he thinks valuations in this group do not reflect inherent long-term growth opportunities of the enterprise storage market. He thinks deceleration in IT spending has resulted in multiple compressions that belie the storage market's long-term opportunity. Although these stocks are subject to near-term volatility, he believes Network Area Storage, Storage Area Network and emerging hybrid topologies will continue to grow as a percentage of the disk-based storage market, and are forecast to grow at a 12% compounded annual growth rate (2000-2004) to $52 billion.
Mansky set targets of $50 on Brocade; $17 on Network Appliance; and $67 on QLogic.